ESA - Rosetta Mission patch.
June 20, 2015
The European robot that is on the comet "Tchouri" managed to communicate Friday with Rosetta. He had given no news of him for several days.
The laboratory robot, who wake up on June 13 after seven months of hibernation, had succeeded that day for two minutes to communicate with Earth via the probe and transmit data. The next day there was again a contact but of poor quality. Since then he had remained silent. This third contact, lasting 19 minutes, confirms that "Philae is fine," the DLR, the German space agency.
European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) Control Room
To improve communications with Philae, the Rosetta teams escort the comet on its way to the Sun, decided to alter the flight plan of the probe.
Contact was restored Friday between 1:20 p.m. ET 1:39 p.m. GMT (3:39 p.m. 3:20 p.m. ET in Switzerland), says the DLR which is responsible for steering the robot to the European Space Agency (ESA). The robot lab has sent data including module status.
The battery charges
"Now, LG operates at a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius, which means the battery is hot enough to store energy," the DLR.
"This means that Philae will also work at night," says DLR. Recently, Philae working day thanks to its solar panels, but its battery was too cold for charging. On the comet, the day is just over 12 hours.
The robot, which landed between cliffs and stayed in the shade for several months, also sent recorded data last week. The engineers found that the brightness had increased as the comet approaches the sun. "At the end of the contact, the four solar panels were receiving energy," says DLR.
Philae has ten instruments. Scientists hope it will find such complex organic molecules that could give the keys to the emergence of life on Earth.
The robot has made November 12 a historic first landing on the nucleus of comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko. He worked for 60 hours before dozing off for lack of sufficient sunlight to allow its solar batteries run.
Rosetta Mission: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta
Rosetta at Astrium: http://www.astrium.eads.net/en/programme/rosetta-1go.html
Rosetta at DLR: http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10394/
Ground-based comet observation campaign: http://www.rosetta-campaign.net/home
ESA Rosetta blog: http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/
Images, Text, Credits: European Space Agency (ESA)/ESOC/ATS/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.
Best regards, Orbiter.ch